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How I Turned My Dog Keeping Hobby Into a Business- Timothy Etsabo

Nyamweya is an award winning journalist attached with a leading media firm in Kenya

Timothy with some of his dogs

Timothy with some of his dogs

Follow your passion and money will follow you - Timothy Etsabo is one person who decided to adhere to this adage by focusing on what he had always desired from his childhood; keeping and staying with dogs.

Timothy started this business of dealing with dogs officially in 2018 after undergoing the necessary certification and authorization from the relevant authorities.

Interestingly, he did not intent it to be a business as his was just a hobby out of passion with dogs.

“This started just as a hobby; I had passion for dogs since I was young. Later in life, I was able to afford Pedigree Breeds. When they got puppies, friends got really interested and paid good money hence; I saw it as a business opportunity and started breeding more” Timothy tells city biz adding that “The new dog owners always called for food supplies and dog accessories making me also venture into pet food store”

Currently, Timothy concentrates on keeping Japanese Spitz and German shepherd. The reason for these two breeds is that “majority of my friends and customers prefer pet dogs (Japanese Spitz) and family friendly dogs/ guard dogs (German shepherd)”

Most of Timothy’s friends in his dog businesses are his friends who also refer other clients to him. However, the resident of Upper Hill estate has also exploited social media platforms and reaped a good deal with from it. Through his social media handles K9 Creations, he has been able to get a significant number of customers, prompting him to expand his business by keeping more breeds.

“I have seen the potential in social media as the market is wide and you get more exposure” Timothy observes

Timothy’s fortunes in the dog business are also expanding even in the local market as many Kenyans are opening up to owning dogs as pets and as guards especially in middle class homes.

The average price for 3 month old German shepherd puppies is sh. 50000. These are full vaccinated (complete with a vaccination card), registered, dewormed. For Japanese Spitz puppies, the price for a 3 month old puppy is sh.15000. Currently, Timothy has 18 grown dogs.

However, earnings depend on the number of puppies and quality as well because clients are sensitive on what they want.

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There are guidelines to the number of puppies a bitch should deliver which are issued by the East Africa Kennel Club and which dog breeders like Etsebo are required to adhere to. A bitch should deliver once every 18 months to 2 years.

“The more bitches you have, you can do a rotation based on the guidelines to have constant puppy supply in short periods from different bitches” Etsebo discloses.

Etsebo claims that on average, he can make about sh. 250000 on a good month; by selling a minimum of 5 German shepherd puppies and an average of sh.12000 from selling Japanese Spitz. This leads to an average of sh.370000 a month

However, Etsebo claims that he always gets more money from his pet food store than even from his puppies. In a good month, he can make about sh.400000.

“The pet food stores are very reliable when there are no puppies to sell as it caters to pay for expenses and costs of running the business”

For Etsebo, it is not possible to succeed in this type of business without passion and patience. He advises that starting this form of business without passion and patience will be an uphill task- it can’t just work.

“I believe even in other lines of business, you just have to love what you do and the drive comes automatically” Etsebo tells city biz.

Etsebo goes on to claim that he has refused offers exceeding sh. 400000 for his imported German Shepherd which he uses for his stad business and which is now 4 years old. The reason for his refusal is due to the sentimental attachment with this dog, an emphasis for his passion.

The major cost and expenses for running this business is dog food and someone who takes care of them.

“I spend a minimum of sh. 50000 a month to cater for someone who takes care of the dogs plus food. Dogs have to be fed well with calcium boosters, dewarming pills, dog shampoos, grooming shampoos, and cleaning detergents since dog breeding needs top notch quality”

Due to this high demand, Timothy has initiated programs to expand his business even more by keeping more breeds, dog food supply store not only in Upper Hill where he stays but also in other parts of the country.

“My dream is to expand this business into other parts of the country with constant supply of dogs and their food portions says Etsabo adding that “I am also focused at raising and sustaining high quality pedigree dog lineage to meet client demands and expectations”

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